Being involved with Clinical Trials Practice
Dr Belinda Brooks
Nurse Practitioner CDE
PhD MSc(Med) Sydney
I am a Nurse Practitioner and I work in a large Diabetes Centre located in the inner west of Sydney. One of the most interesting and fulfilling aspects of my work is my involvement in clinical research and clinical trials.
My involvement in research has allowed me to gain my MSc and PhD through the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney. These were based on topics related to diabetes vascular complications. I am also actively involved in a large number of international, multi-centre clinical trials aimed at testing the efficacy and safety of new anti-diabetic agents or compounds targeted at preventing diabetic complications.
I started working in clinical trials more than 20 years ago. As no formal training course was available at that time, I had to obtain the necessary skills and training in the workplace. This situation is not ideal and I think most people would benefit from attending a specially designed training program, such as the Clinical Trials Practice Course, which includes topics such as clinical trial methodology, ethical and legal considerations, data management etc. Moreover, this course offers candidates the opportunity to further their career and enhance their work prospects by obtaining relevant postgraduate qualifications.
Upon reflection, I believe my involvement in clinical trials has allowed me to combine my clinical expertise with the knowledge and skills obtained from working in research. It has also provided variety in my work, which is something I really appreciate. Although certain aspects of clinical trial work can be exacting and demanding at times, on a personal level it has provided me with an interesting career and a great sense of personal satisfaction.